GREAT FALLS — The community will come together to take a step forward in suicide prevention in at Gibson Park in Great Falls on Sunday, September 26.
The Central Montana "Out Of The Darkness Walk" will focus on mental health education and advocacy.
Event chair Tiffany Sweeney said Montana continually has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. According to Sweeney, a number of factors can contribute to suicide or suicidal ideation in Montana including higher rates of depression and anxiety, feelings of isolation, greater access to lethal means, and a “cowboy up” mentality.
Suicide prevention and mental health are issues close to Sweeney’s heart. In just a ten-month time span, she lost three people she loved to suicide.
“What I want to do is, being someone how has lost a number of people to suicide, is make sure people know they're not alone. Their life does matter, their story matters and there's help out there. We just need to start talking about it because it's no longer something we just want to sweep under the rug,” Sweeney shared.
Check-in starts at noon. A short presentation will begin around 1 p.m. followed by a walk around Gibson Park. The event is free. People who are interested in attending can also register ahead of time online. For more information, click here.
If you or someone you know is struggling, resources are available locally as well as nationally. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255. Sweeney encourages anyone who is struggling to reach out and tell someone.